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Japans New Masters

Makoto Tanijiri on Architectural Education and “Japanese-ness” in Design

09:30 - 9 December, 2016
Makoto Tanijiri on Architectural Education and “Japanese-ness” in Design, <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/779568/hiroshima-hut-suppose-design-office'>Hiroshima Hut</a>. Image © Toshiyuki Yano
Hiroshima Hut. Image © Toshiyuki Yano

At just 42 years old, Makoto Tanijiri and the office he founded in 2000, Suppose Design Office, have emerged as one of Japan's most prolific medium-sized architecture and design firms. However, Tanijiri's path to success was somewhat different to the route taken by his contemporaries. In this interview, the latest in Ebrahim Abdoh's series of “Japan's New Masters,” Tanijiri discusses the role that education plays in a successful career and his work's relation to the rest of Japanese architecture.

Ebrahim Abdoh: What was your earliest memory of wanting to be an architect?

Makoto Tanijiri: When I was about 5 years old. Of course at that age I did not know the word “architect” or “architecture,” all I remember was how small our house was, and all the things I didn’t like about it. Back then, my dream was to be a carpenter, so that I could build my own house and live on my own.

<a href='http://www.archdaily.com/192453/house-in-seya-suppose-design-office'>House in Seya</a>. Image Courtesy of Suppose Design Office <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/161689/52-suppose-design-office'>52</a>. Image © Toshiyuki Yano <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/458511/house-in-tousuien-suppose-design-office'>House in Tousuien</a>. Image © Toshiyuki Yano <a href='http://www.archdaily.com/50421/karis-suppose-design-office'>Karis</a>. Image © Toshiyuki Yano + 17

Tezuka Architects on Their Formative Experiences, Architecture as a Cure and Finding Your Unique Wisdom

09:30 - 7 September, 2016
Tezuka Architects on Their Formative Experiences, Architecture as a Cure and Finding Your Unique Wisdom, Floating Roof House (2005). Image © Katsuhisa Kida
Floating Roof House (2005). Image © Katsuhisa Kida

As one practice among Japan's emerging crop of talented architects, Takaharu and Yui Tezuka of Tezuka Architects can boast some highly successful projects; perhaps most notably among their collection of houses, medical buildings, and community buildings is the Fuji Kindergarten. Completed in 2007, the unusual open-air design was so successful that it earned Takaharu Tezuka a spot on stage at TEDxKyoto. In this interview from his series “Japan's New Masters,” Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to Yui and Takaharu about their formative experiences in the United States and United Kingdom, their design approach, and the unique challenges that come with working in Japan.

Wall-less House (2001). Image © Katsuhisa Kida Sora no Mori clinic (2014). Image © Katsuhisa Kida Wall-less House (2001). Image © Katsuhisa Kida Forest House (2004). Image © Katsuhisa Kida + 16

Shuhei Endo on Why Architecture Should Be "Paramodern"

09:50 - 28 April, 2016
Shuhei Endo on Why Architecture Should Be "Paramodern", Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern
Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern

Japan has long been one of the centers of production when it comes to avant-garde architecture, stretching back to the middle of the 20th century with Modernist masters such as Kenzo Tange. As one of Japan's new, emerging architectural leaders Shuhei Endo – the founder of architecture firm Paramodern – believes the country is still well positioned at the forefront of architecture, creating new responses to the concept of modernity itself. In the second interview from our series covering “Japan's New Masters,” Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to Endo about what it means to be “Modern” in the modern world, and how these ideas have influenced his architecture.

Ebrahim Abdoh: What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an architect?

Shuhei Endo: When I was a child at elementary school, one day, the teacher took our class to an architecture exhibit in Osaka. The year was 1962. I remember seeing all the drawings, and models of these strange buildings. It was that day that I heard the words "architect" and "architecture" for the first time. Many years later, I applied to university to study architecture and got in. I always wanted to see the world. In my first few years of university, I went on a trip all over Europe. If that little exhibit I went to in Osaka was my baptism, then Rome was my confirmation. When I walked into the Pantheon… that is when I knew that I had made the right choice.

Slowtecture M. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern Rooftecture OT2. Image © Stirling Elmendorf Rooftecture S. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern Bubbletecture H. Image © Courtesy of Shuhei Endo / Paramodern + 13

Japan's New Masters: Yuko Nagayama

09:30 - 3 September, 2015
Japan's New Masters: Yuko Nagayama, LLove. Image Courtesy of Yuko Nagayama & Associates
LLove. Image Courtesy of Yuko Nagayama & Associates

Japanese design has long had a defining impact on other cultures from all over the world; as early as the mid-nineteenth century, fashionable collectors in Europe exchanged artifacts from Japan, and Frank Lloyd Wright was famously influenced by their distinctive architecture after a trip to the country in 1905. In recent decades, Japan has been one of architecture's superpowers, producing seven Pritzker Prize laureates in under 30 years. And, while Japan's Pritzker winners are widely revered, they are far from the only players on the scene, with a new wave of young Japanese architects now emerging behind internationally acclaimed names such as Sou Fujimoto.

In this new series of interviews titled "Japan's New Masters," Ebrahim Abdoh speaks to both the established and emerging architects of Japan's dynamic architectural scene. The first interview of the series is with Yuko Nagayama, founder of Yuko Nagayama and Associates.

Teshima Yokoo House. Image © Daici Ano Gokokuya. Image Courtesy of Yuko Nagayama & Associates Katsutadai House - click image for full project. Image © Daici Ano Urbanprem Minami Aoyama - click image for full project. Image © Daici Ano + 30